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As the season draws to a close

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By sports coach UK Coaching Network Manager Colin Bennett

It's the end of another season. You take stock of all that has happened, all the players/athletes you coached, motivated, encouraged to improve and develop. All the session plans you wrote, pondered over, evaluated, run….wished you hadn't run, all the games - win, lose or draw…all the hours of sweat and endeavour and it's all over, at an end, finished, fin, finitura, finito, färdiga.

Or is it?

Well in simple terms, and as no one likes a cliff hanger in this modern world of instant gratification, the answer is "No".

Next season is already just around the corner! There are teams to sort for next year - are the same players staying, are you moving up the age band with them or remaining where you are? Are you assessing new players? Do you need some new drills/sessions, are you really just going to repeat last years? There are facilities to arrange - pitches, training areas, leagues to sign up for, kit to buy, training equipment to check over - why don't footballs last more than one season now? What's that all about?

And then there's the question of "The Coach's Player of the Year Award"……tumbleweed blows through and a chill settles on the coach.

How do we as coaches even begin to select a player of the year? Do we go with "the best", "the most improved", "the best attendee", "the one whose parents bought the most raffle tickets!" Ok the last one might be a bit extreme but what makes a player of the year? Why should one person deserve an award anymore than another?

Does it matter at what level your team or athletes compete? If they are talented it has to be the best…doesn't it? If they compete in division 4 of the local Church Choirs and Pastors League surely a better criteria is linking into improvement and friendliness and whether they wash the kit. Or does it?

Do we not all wish to be recognised for what we do? Don't we know when someone is patronising us? Don't we know "they picked me because I stood between the sticks every week when no one else would!"

So should an award for Coach's Player of the Year be just for the best player regardless of level, regardless of paying subs on time, regardless of if they're the nicest.

I would love to know what you think, comment below…

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